Catholics; What Are They?
I come you today with open hands and an open heart seeking the answer to the following question: Are Catholics Christians?
Please remember I was once a Catholic…and a Baptist…simultaneously.
A few times in my life a scenario such as the following has happened to me and that’s what brings me to the question above. Please bear with me. Please keep an open mind. Please leave a comment only if you know you can do so without judging someone’s religion. As far as I’m concerned All Roads Lead to God (or Gods) so long as you’re a good person and try your best not to screw anyone over.
Today an elderly gentleman came in to the office and he had a palm leaf with him. Yesterday, (yes, my wedding anniversary) was Palm Sunday–these things don’t escape me just because I’m pagan now. He wanted me to place it on top of a framed picture in my office. I’ve worked there for 3 years and know the man in the picture only as ‘Smiley’. Until he had no name at all. The elderly gentleman informed me of the man’s name and his importance to the place where I work. Being an ex-Catholic, I felt very strange about taking the palm leaf from his hand but as I looked into his eyes I could easily see how much it meant to this man. I took it with a bit of reverence and placed it on top of the frame.
For those of you who don’t know, Palm Sunday commemorates the day Jesus Christ was paraded through town on his way to the cross and the crowd threw palm leaves at his feet. It’s very important to Christians.
The man then looked at me and said: “What religion are you?”
Ok, first, I thought it to be a rude and intrusive question. I would never ask anyone that…never. Second, I wondered what was the best way to get out of the question without offending the elderly gentleman. So I simply said; “Not Christian.”
Then he said; “Oh, what are you? Catholic?”
I was taken aback. I really was. That’s not the first time in my life that someone has said something like that to me upon my declaration that I wasn’t Christian. Also, one time, I was filling out a job application at a nursing home when an elderly lady resident asked me; “Are you a Christian, child?” (Yes, just like in the song!) I was just coming to the pagan path and didn’t want to insult an old woman so I said; “Yes ma’am, I’m Catholic.” Do you know she not only turned her head away from me but her entire body! She refused to speak to me again! She gave me the nastiest look as she ‘harumphed’, folded her arms over her sagging bosom and turned away.
Anyway, to the elderly gentleman’s question I just said; “No.”
He got the point and dropped that line of the conversation. Then he proceeded to jaw my ear off…in a very good way and not about religion…for the next fifteen minutes or so. Wherein it became clear to me that this gentleman, for all he’s been through in his life, might require a ‘home health aid’ or something like that. He asked the same question 3 times; “What’s your name?”
We have a few gentlemen like that and after they leave me I always find myself looking up and to the left praying; Oh, please let him make it home alright.
We had a nice little chat about things that were not religious and then he left. Still, it left me with the lingering question; Why do, at least, some people think Catholics aren’t Christians? To my mind anyone who follows The Bible is a ‘Christian’. Yes/no?
I realize that the “Roman” Catholic Church has very deeply seeded Pagan Roots. I recognize the crossovers and connections between the two. I openly admit those Rituals and Rites were one of the things that “Called me Home” to the pagan religion I now hold so dear. Without that pageantry I think I would have kept wandering all of my life without any path whatsoever. Its engrained in me. Call it a left over from my days as a Catholic or whatever you like but without it worship doesn’t seem worth the time to me. So-called “idols” give one something to focus their energy upon and I believe that’s why the Catholic Church embraces the Saints and their images so such a degree.
I also admit I’m a lax pagan. I am. Since my coven disbanded eons ago I have fallen into apathy where actual practice and worship is concerned. Without them I don’t have the support I once did to be so open about what I believe. Here on the Internet is one thing but to have people walk into my home and see a full blown altar over my mantle (where it once stood) is quite another (people can be so close minded!). My mantle is still an altar but you’d have to be pagan to recognize it any manner. I have crystals, stones, and even an actual Crystal Ball right here near my computer, and there are two altars in my bedroom but, again, you’d have to be on my path to recognize them and their meaning.
I also recognize the fact that I will always be a ‘recovering Catholic’ and some tiny part of me will always believe in their ways. I also admit that I have no problems at all with the Big JC or his Daddy. I’m fairly certain that should I meet one of Them then They would have no problem with me. It’s Their Followers I have problems with, well, a fraction of them anyway. I don’t like zealots, I don’t care if they’re Religious Zealots (of *any* religion) or Political Zealots (on either ‘side of the aisle’)…to tell you the truth some of those zealots are just plain assholes hiding behind a religion or ideology. Most of them actually.
Yes, I also recognize the irony, the dichotomy in the fact that the Romans ‘killed their own God/Prophet’…I really do. Such things are never lost on me, read my books, you’ll understand that I get that a lot more than most people.🙂
Still, the question remains; Are Catholics Christians?
If you have an answer, an idea, or a comment that doesn’t berate anyone else but instead states your own case with clarity and respect, please feel free to leave it here. I’m an honestly searching and would love to have your input.
Posted on 30/03/2015, in Uncategorized and tagged catholic, catholic church, catholics, christian, organised religion, organized religion, pagan religion, religion, roman catholic church, what does it mean to be christian. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.